TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenceman Morgan Rielly to an eight-year, US$60-million contract extension worth an average annual value of US$7.5 million.

The 27-year-old is currently the longest-serving Maple Leaf after being drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2012 NHL draft and has been an alternate captain for the club since 2016.

"I've got to the point in Toronto where it really feels like home, so it's a pretty cool feeling," Rielly said Friday,

Rielly has four assists in eight games so far this season. The West Vancouver, B.C., native had 35 points (five goals, 30 assists) in 55 games in 2020-21.

"I feel very good right now, I felt good in training camp," Rielly said. "I didn't want to be a distraction. I kind of had a feeling it was going to get done at some point.

"I think the way it got handled from both sides was good."

In 580 career NHL regular-season games, Rielly has registered 309 points (59 goals, 250 assists) while adding 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 32 career Stanley Cup playoff games.

During the 2019-20 season, he became the second defenceman in Maple Leaf history, joining Börje Salming, to begin his career with seven consecutive 20-assist seasons.

Among Maple Leafs franchise leaders for defencemen, Rielly ranks 10th in goals (59), fifth in assists (250), sixth in points (309) and tied for ninth in games played (580).

Internationally, Rielly helped Canada capture a gold medal at the 2016 world hockey championship. He also represented Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

"As an organization we're thrilled to have Morgan's commitment for the eight years," Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said. "I think his integrity and character are beyond reproach. We're thrilled to have him."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2021.